Microsoft starts to support clinical trials

Posted Nov 3, 2017 by Tim Sandle
Technology leader Microsoft has entered into a partnership with the life sciences consulting firm Parexel. This is to develop software capable of accelerating drug development for clinical trials.
Microsoft branch office.
Microsoft branch office.
Elekes Andor
The partnership will utilize Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform. With this system, Parexel will transfer its informatics software. Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing service designed for building, testing, deploying, and managing applications and services. The applications run Microsoft-managed global data centers. The Azure is an example of a software as a service platform and infrastructure as a service.
The Parexel informatics software is called Perceptive MyTrials. The software is designed to provide scientists single point access to clinical trial management, together with regulatory information, medical imaging, and electronic patient-reported outcomes. Informatics relates to information engineering, taking into account the interaction between humans and information alongside the construction of interfaces, organizations, technologies and systems.
The bringing together of the two different technologies has the aim of creating a cloud-based solution for making patient engagement stronger and with making clinical trials of new drug compounds more accessible.
Speaking with PharmaPhorum, Xavier Flinois, president of Parexel Informatics stated: “Technology is disrupting the established model of research and development in health care. Drug development is becoming more complex, while innovations including social media, analytics, mobile technology and the Internet of Things are enabling a more patient-centric approach.”
Flinois adds that he expects drug delivery times to be streamlined, with faster time-to-market. The business leader also notes that Parexel has also entered into a partnership with the major pharmaceutical firm Sanofi. This is looking at the usefulness of wearables in clinical trials.
Microsoft has been making in-roads into healthcare as the technology company seeks to diversify away from the crowded consumer products arena. Microsoft has its own cloud-based medical systems termed Healthcare NeXT. This is to develop digital tools to aid healthcare providers deliver an improved service to patients. Microsoft are also working on other machines, such as InnerEye, which is artificial intelligence tool for creating three dimensional versions of patient scans for radiotherapy planning.
To read more about Microsoft's move into healthcare see "Microsoft pushes on with Healthcare NeXT."